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Regulations straighten fish rules

In a continuing effort to standardize and simplify fishing rules across New York State, the Department of Environment and Conservation has drafted a series of proposed freshwater fishing regulations that will make things easier for anglers.

Some changes have area rules comply with statewide regulations; other changes have the state's rules conform with nearby states' seasons, creel limits, etc.

For Lake Erie anglers, a walleye creel limit change -- from five to six fish -- will match limits set for all other states and Ontario waters bordering that lake.

Bass regulations for Allen Lake and Cassadaga Lake will be the same as statewide rules.

The elimination of a catch-and-release section of Ischua Creek in Franklinville will allow beginners and young anglers a chance to fish this stream area.

The rainbow trout limit in western Finger Lakes will drop from three to one fish daily. The three-fish lake trout limit as part of a five-trout limit in the western Finger Lakes will go to five lakers.

These and other regional and statewide changes can be viewed at dec.ny.regulations/propregulations.html. The DEC seeks public comments on these changes until April 2. Responses can be emailed to: fishregs@gw.dec.state.ny.us.

For a hard copy of the full text and an address to offer comments, write to: Shawn Keeler, NYSDEC Bureau of Fisheries, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4753.

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Backtag rule change

Hunters in New York State have to display a current license in a backtag while afield each season. Anglers, as well as hunters, in Pennsylvania have had to display a license while on waterways.

Effective Feb. 13, Keystone State sportsmen and women no longer have to display a license on their outer garment but must have a license on their person while afield. The Pennsylvania Game Commission noted that smaller, electronically-produced license tags make backtags antiquated. And computer-generated licenses on thermal paper tend to blacken when exposed to sunlight or a heat source.

Currently, only New York State and Wisconsin continue to require a back tag while hunting.

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Lead ban barred

The Environmental Protection Agency has rejected a second sweeping petition that would have banned all use of lead in fishing tackle. New York has a ban on lead use in smaller tackle. The petition from Center for Biological Diversity and others sought a ban on any lead weights. For details, go to keepamericafishing.org.

email: odrswill@gmail.com